Genex bags US$107 million financing for major solar assets in Australia

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Genex’s 50MW Kidston Solar Project (above) is one of the projects set to be impacted by the new financing. Image: Genex.

Renewable energy developer Genex Power has secured a five-year AUS$162 million (US$107 million) senior debt facility for its 50MW Kidston and Jemalong solar projects in Australia.

The debt facility has been refinanced through existing lenders Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank (DZ BANK) and Westpac Banking Corporation, with “more favourable financing terms”. Genex said that the facility is due to mature on 17 December 2024.

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The interest rate on the new senior facility is 95% hedged, at favourable rates until 2030 with a maturity date of 27 June 2029.

Genex said the financing conditions were secured due to the “strong operating track record” at the Jemalong Solar Project in New South Wales and the Kidston Solar Project (KS1) at the company’s Clean Energy Hub in Kidston, North Queensland.

With the new senior facility, Genex can fully repay the subordinated loan facility with Infradebt, and streamline its capital structure.

The 50MW Jemalong Solar Project is located near Forbes in central New South Wales, and constitutes the second generating solar asset in Genex’s renewable energy portfolio, having been energised in 2020. It has a lifespan of 30 years, cost AUS$90 million to develop and had the modules supplied by Jinko.

The 50MW Kidston Solar Project, based in Far-North Queensland, features 540,000 solar modules operating on a single-axis tracking system and, similarly to Jemalong, has an anticipated project life of 30 years. First energisation occurred for the project in November 2017 and First Solar provided the solar modules.

Genex’s Kidston Clean Energy Hub is also where the developer is building Australia’s first new large-scale pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) plant in almost four decades, the 250MW/2,000MWh Kidston 2 project. Construction began at the PHES facility in 2021 for a targeted commissioning date during 2024, while the hub also features plans for a 285MW wind power plant and another solar PV plant.

Elsewhere in Queensland, Genex Power brought online its first large-scale battery energy storage system (BESS), the 50MW/100MWh Bouldercombe project, in late 2023.

Craig Francis, CEO of Genex, said the refinancing strengthens the company’s financial position and will help it continue its “commitment to sustainable energy development in Australia”.

“The continued support of our banking partners demonstrates the confidence financiers have in Genex’s ability to develop, construct and operate high quality assets,” Francis added.

ASX-listed Genex in April agreed to a 100% takeover by Japanese power generator J-Power, with which the Australian company has previously worked to jointly develop projects, including financing for the Kidston 2 PHES plant. The proposed transaction could close this month, according to a 12 April announcement by J-Power.

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